As well as being the third president of the United States, Jefferson was an amateur scientist and loved to make discoveries about the natural world. He was born in Shadwell, Virginia in 1743 and lived in his home at Monticello until his death in 1826. He was a meteorologist and studied agriculture and horticulture. He is considered the starter of National Weather data because he collected data on the weather, and studied natural sciences. Jefferson also crossed plants and cultivated new plants to breed and grow in his garden. He founded the University of Virginia, and is well known for supporting natural history exploration by sending Lewis and Clark to study the plants and animals that lived on the land included in the Louisiana Purchase.
He was appointed as the West Virginia Cottage Scientist by Ivey Lewis, and was, according to Lewis, “an original and enthusiastic botanist, first American paleontologist, agriculturist, meteorologist, anthropologist, architect, inventor, friend of the sciences.”